For all the saints

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (c.1423-24) by Fra Angelico

November is a month when we remember the people we loved, who were important to us, who made an impact on our lives and then died and left us behind. Whether on All Saints’ Day, or on Remembrance Sunday, we’re engaged in a corporate activity of mourning. As Whitney Rice puts it in her blog: “We are all in this together, and the ones we are remembering are long settled in their resting places. It’s the chance to be private about our grief, taking out our memories in the quiet of our hearts and turning them over one by one, taking our time to remember and reflect … We enter the valley of the shadow of death together, and walk through it in solidarity with one another.”

And of course we think about our individual responsibility to carry on where those who are no longer with us on earth have left off. We particularly commend two of the prayers offered by Lay Anglicana:

Lord, throughout the ages you have raised up a great cloud of witnesses from all nations and from all tongues. May we in our generation be strengthened by their example, and may their inspiration reach beyond the shores of Christendom to illumine the hearts of all who dwell on this earth, particularly those in government and who have power over others.

Lord, teach us once again to recognise the divine spark in each other, for there are so many ways of serving you to bring about your kingdom on earth. We thank you for those without number who have followed you through the centuries of earthly change down to the present day. Help us, too, to leave behind our egos and to follow you all our days.